From B2B and B2C to C2B

February 28, 2008

Anytime Marketers talk a question is “do you do B2B or B2C?” Many people (self included) have done both. You can interpret that ‘2’ as a directional indicator, so if I had a whiteboard I’d write B->B and B->C. Communication flows from the first letter to the second.

Widespread adoption of social media as a marketing tool may change that. When you start building communities and using social media you create a two-way communication. So you’ll know social media marketing is maturing when you ask a marketer “B2B or B2C?” and get “C2B” as a response. That’s a true change in purpose.

Until then, we need to distinguish between marketers using new tools to do old things and marketers doing new things. One approach treats a blog like a web page measured on traffic instead of on interaction, uses Twitter to send “look at my link!” spam, tries to game social bookmarking and thinks of Facebook as a place to build free ads for a product’s ‘fans’. (Not to brag, but I’ve got more ‘friends’ than Coca-Cola Light). The other approach is…different.

If you’re doing something different, I want to know about it.

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